What Are the Stages of Personal Empowerment
Pre-contemplation: In this initial stage, individuals may be outwardly unaware of their problems or be in denial. Either way, they definitely do not want to appear broken or damaged. As a general rule, "Pre-contemplators" often wish other people would change, as in: "How can I get my superior to quit bothering me about my poor people skills? That's just who I am." or "Things will change during the next quarter when I get through this especially tough assignment."
Contemplation: Contemplators are aware that they face problems and are seriously thinking about grappling with these problems in some period of time.
Preparation: Individuals and organizations at this stage intend to take action within the next month. These individuals have taken personal responsibility for causing or contributing the need for change. In addition, these individuals have set a personalized measurable goal - a change that is under one's own control, rather than dependent on someone else's behavior.
In this stage, individuals and organizations are taking concrete steps to change their behavior, experiences, or environment through Self-Reconditioning to master problematic concerns. Because action often brings up feelings of guilt, failure, coercion, and yearning to resume old familiar behaviors, individuals and organizations typically need a lot of support during this period. A sobering statistic: at any given time, only 10-15 percent of individuals or organizations in the process of change are engaged in the action stage.
Maintenance: During this stage, individuals and organizations work to consolidate their gains and prevent relapse. It is important that individuals and organizations remember that all merger experiences are different. Assuming a one-size-fits-all approach will not work! Instead, assess the group as individuals, to determine their stage of change.
Termination: In this stage, individuals who have developed the coping and cognitive skills are prepared to function in life on life's terms. Now personally empowered, these individuals have discovered paths to independence and autonomy.
It is important to recognize that these stages have no definitive order and regression can occur as part of the empowerment process.
Go slowly. Anticipate backsliding. While the term "stages of change" suggests that change marches forward in a step-by-step, linear fashion, it actually occurs in a spiral pattern, meaning change comes in both forward and backward movement. This is not uncommon and to be expected.
Empowering Psychotherapy provides clients with the skills to achieve goals through awareness, discovery, responsible choices and self-determination.
As life change occurs, individuals become capable of working within a supportive and insight-oriented framework. In client surveys, most report that they regard this practice in a very positive light.